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Archive for February, 2006

Making a budget for mom - New Job

February 28th, 2006 at 01:39 pm

This past weekend I spent a good number of hours packing my place. I think I made pretty good progress. Dad is responsible for packing the kitchen/pantry by this weekend, then I'll be finishing up the rest. Sunday is the big move day. I can hardly wait! I'm a little bit worried about the amount of helpers I'm going to have - it may just be my dad, me, and the friend who recc'd me for this job. Oh well, it will at least get done.

Saturday night dad and I went out to eat at Denny's - we had a Boca Burger and an order of pancakes - which we split in half cuz' we both were in the mood for "breakfast" but also for the BB. Smile Then we saw "Date Movie." That was a very corny, gross in some parts, yet very funny movie. Smile

Sunday night I got to my mom's place and had it to myself for a little while. Once mom got there I asked her if she'd like for me to help her on her budget. She agreed. When I put the acutal numbers on the spreadsheet, she was a little depressed (I would be too if my rent and car payment equalled nearly 65%!!! of my take home pay!!) When I found out how much she was paying for her phone services, I asked her if she'd be willing to cut back any. She was more than willing. So I told her exactly what she needed to say to the phone company to get what she wanted - she called the phone company on Monday and cut over $100/mo from her bill! She also had a checking account she was paying fees for - I suggested (strongly) that she think about getting rid of that account -- which she also did! I also suggested that she put a certain amount every month in a "No Touch Fund" -- she set that up to be automatically done!! For her, the more simple the plan the better - so I divided the money left after the non-negotiable bills between groceries, giving, Blow (hair, clothes, nails, extra coke, etc), and the No Touch Fund. She wasn't too excited about the amount of "blow" money, but I pointed out to her that there wasn't really too much left after bills TO divide between the other categories. She seemed to accept that. Only time will tell how much this will help her. --- Oh, another thing. She's going on a cruise next week that a friend of her's paid for and is taking along a certian amount of money for spending. I suggested to her that she make a game out of seeing how little of that money she spends. Then when she gets back, put half of what's left in her blow fund, and the other half in her "one month ahead" fund. She was getting pretty sleepy by then, but I think she was ammenable to the idea. Smile

I am just so proud of her for taking care of the phone and the bank! That right there will help her tremendously! Today she's supposed to call a couple places to give her new address and get W-2's from, as well as health-savings account claim forms. She told me that if I'll file her taxes, she'll come to my new place and help get things organized (we'd both do it for each other anyway - but, oh well.) Smile

My new job is going well. I've been on my own now for two days. Get to have a LOT of time for surfing on the net - not an entirely bad thing, but I do hope I get some other things to do so I feel more useful.

KIF,
Laura

Did some shopping :)

February 23rd, 2006 at 08:13 pm

Tonight I had to go to the going away party for the person I am replacing. I really didn't mind, because I have really started to like her. It was at a bar, which is a place I don't frequent very often. Going in I was surprised to be asked for my i.d. - just not something I think about needing to have out when going into a place where there is a party. I had a Coke. When I was ready to go (after about an hour) I got the waitress's attention and asked her for my bill - she told me that soda is free! I only had $1 in my purse, so I left her it for a tip - she'd really kept my glass full.

When I got to my mom's place, mom was like "Let's go to Dillard's! They're having a 40% off of reduced price sale!" So, off we went to Dillard's. By the time I found enough clothes that I could try on that were close to my size, it was 20 minutes to closing. I was frantically trying things on, and didn't get to everything. I ended up buying 3 items - a black top, a beautiful white blouse, and a cute brown jacket. There was one pair of pants that might have fit me, but I was running out of time. The lady at the cash register very kindly stayed open to take our purchases.

After we had purchased our stuff, we went to the door we had gone in. The doors were shut down tight. There formed a group of about 20 people - all of them just standing there waiting for ??? I noticed a Dillard's employee closing his cash register nearby, so I went over and told him that there was a group of people needing to get out, what could he do? He made a phone call to let someone know, and about 5 minutes later a very grumpy lady came down and opened the door for us. I wonder how long everyone would have stood there if I hadn't gone over and asked for help??

Tomorrow I get my first paycheck from my new job. I can hardly wait to see if it is for 3 days or for 8 days! Smile

Money spent since Wednesday:
Quizno's (supper) $7.98
Snack at work: $2.77
Tip at party: $1
Dillard's: $37.89

KIF,
Laura

Got the Apartment!

February 21st, 2006 at 01:22 pm

Got a call during my lunch break today - I was approved for my apartment! Yahoo! One of the ladies who works here also lives in that same complex and says it is really nice - she's lived there for 12 years and hasn't had any problems.

So, March 3 I'll sign the lease and pay the balance of the $199, then actually move in on March 5.

I can hardly wait!!

Tonight I'm going to my coupon club meeting. I haven't been to one since May and have really missed the ladies, not to mention the free coupons!

Well, better go - got work that needs doing. Smile

KIF,
Laura

Maybe an apartment??

February 19th, 2006 at 01:32 pm

We had quite the wintery weekend here in the DFW area. Thankfully today is a little bit warmer than it was yesterday.

I went to my apartment this weekend to pack up more clothes for work, etc., and to start packing other stuff. Dad hadn't gotten any boxes, so Saturday night we spent a couple hours scrounging up boxes from various grocery stores.

This afternoon I looked at my first apartment complex on my list - and decided to go ahead and fill out an application. I explained to the person my situation re:rental history/dad and she told me that she thinks the manager would be willing to work with me on it.

The apartment is 1 BR, 770 sq ft, has a small kitchen pantry, a dining area with hardwood floors, the bedroom has a wall closet AND a walk-in closet, it's on the second floor (ugh!) but has an enclosed patio (for my cat to get his "outside" time). I will have to go back to doing laundry once a week at either a laundrymat or at the apartments facility. For an extra $35/month electricity, water, trash is included!
It is less than two blocks from where I'm working - a sidewalk goes along the whole two block area -- so, I could walk to work if I wanted to. Smile I think I'll be able to fit everything in there - if not, I'll figure out what I can get rid of!!

So, I should know by Wednesday whether or not I am approved or not. My move out date from my current place is March 5 - my move in date would be March 3. First months rent + deposit is $199!!

I can see this place saving me alot of money - gas, wear and tear on my car, (car insurance is going to go up alot though - though pretty much anywhere in this area it would), electricity, water bill, etc.

I just can't tell you how anxious I am about getting into a place that is completely my OWN again!!!

Money spent this weekend:
Movie tickets (2) (Walk the Line) 13.55
Gas: (2.02/gallon) 12.20 (half tank)
Clothing: (skirt/sweater Old Navy sale) 23.80

KIF,
Laura

First Day - Thanks guys!

February 15th, 2006 at 05:01 pm

Wow guys! I can't tell you how much all of your comments have meant to me.

I had my first day today. I think it went pretty well. The person I am replacing is very nice. It looks like I'm going to have plenty of time to satisfy my readaholic bug. i.e. - There's a lot of downtime.

Filling out the paperwork took quite awhile. There was a lot to go through. I signed up for the group Life Insurance (x1), the Accident plan (x5), and Disability (x5). Total take out - ~$29/mo. The Medical Plan is a PPO, and the best part is that the premium's are PAID!!

They do have a 401K plan, but unfortunately there is a ONE-YEAR waiting period before an employee can participate. (How does that make sense???) So, I guess I'm going to figure out where to put some money away in an IRA myself.

I found out today that I get paid weekly, and my first paycheck will be next Friday. They have direct deposit, which I immediately signed up for. Smile

I'm just so excited about all of this!

I'm going to have to ask Jesse if I can download a copy of YNAB onto my mom's computer so I can keep up with my budget away from my home computer. I *could* do it just once a week, but I have a thing about liking to play around with it 4 or more days a week. Smile Smile

Spending Log:
$5 - lunch (didn't bring lunch with me because I wasn't sure whether or not I'd be staying the whole day or not.)

KIF,
Laura

I GOT THE JOB!!!!

February 14th, 2006 at 01:06 pm

Remember the interview with the Oil company that Tammy's husband Nick reccomended me for? I had that interview this morning, and it went great. They told me that they would call me either this afternoon or by noon tomorrow to let me know one way or the other.

Well ... they called me this afternoon, about 30 minutes ago ... and .... I GOT THE JOB!!! I start TOMORROW morning at 9am to start training to take over the current receptionists position. I'll be salaried, but the hourly rate is about $2 more an hour than what I was making as a Supervisor AND I get benefits (paid for!!!)

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!

God is so good! So are friends!

*This* is the best Valentine's present possible!

Laura

More Interviews!

February 13th, 2006 at 10:28 am

Yesterday I spent a couple hours on Career Builder going through a ton of job advertisements. I sent my resume and a cover letter to about 5 places which looked like possibilities.

I actually got a response from one of them! I will have an interview with them on Wednesday morning at 10. So, so far that is 3 interviews lined up for this week. Not to mention all the other resumes I have out there that could possibly turn into an interview.

I'm feeling much more optimistic.

I did something yesterday evening that was probably pretty foolish - probably a waste of money. But, I did it, and I guess all I can do is see if it actually pans out or not. Basically one of the advertisements on CareerBuilder was for this site that gives you a website advertising the free install of a product, and then you submit your website once a week to over 100 search engines. If anyone signs up for the free install of the product, you get $50. It cost $29, and there is supposedly a 60-day moneyback guarantee. Only time will tell I guess.

Spending Sunday:
$29 - website/search engine submission

Spending Monday:
$10 - maybe ... chip in for flowers for a Pathways classmate who's relationship ended recently

KIF,
Laura

Free Lunch

February 11th, 2006 at 10:26 pm

Well today I ended up getting a free lunch! My friend Tammy's family, my mom, two Pathway friends, and me all ate at a Thai restraunt. It was getting towards the end of the meal and I saw the waiter heading towards us with the bill. I tried to get his attention, but he ignored me and gave it to Nick (Tammy's husband)y paid the entire bill! What a sneaky little turkey!! Smile I really was dissapointed because I had wanted to treat them for once - they'd treated me so many times before.

I guess I could use the money I set aside for the meal for a low-end mp3 player. Smile

It was so great to spend time with Tammy's family - the kids were a little shy at first, but then they remembered how much fun "Lorla" can be. Smile

Mom and I got a bit annoyed w/each other today. Def. don"t think she/I would get along very well long term in the same living space.

The concert last night was AWESOME!! I;m thinking of downloading 4 or 5 songs from Casting Crowns I heard last night. Of course, downloaded songs don't do me very much good w/a dead mp3 player. Frown

Spending:
Saturday:
Supper - $8.00
Groceries - $7.49 (Newspaper, bread, junk)
Gas - $17.40 (2.06/ga - not an empty tank)

Got another interview!

February 10th, 2006 at 09:19 am

I got up to my mom's yesterday afternoon. Not too long after I arrived, I got a call from my friend Tammy's husband. He told me that a receptionist position had JUST opened up at his company and he had reccomended me for it! He told me to get my resume in as fast as possible.

I had it faxed over to the company w/a cover letter by the next hour! Smile

This morning I was about to get in the shower (after sleeping in) when I got a phone call. It was from the VP of the company - the person I had faxed my resume to. We set an interview up for Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.!!!! Yahoo!!

This afternoon I am going over to my mom's office building to pass my resume around to a few contacts that she has made over there. Maybe something will come from one of them too. Smile

In other news - I checked my bank account a little bit ago, and my tax refund has come in!! Yahoo! I'm going to put most of it away for possible moving expenses or just plain ol' living expenses. But .. I plan on using ~$50 - 60 tomorrow taking out my mom, a Pathway's friend, and Tammy's family to lunch. I feel that that will be a good use for the money. Smile

Spending Log:
Thursday - 2/9
Walgreen's - $20.29 - Hair stuff (one item I'll get a rebate on, making it free.)
$25 - paid for a prescription for mom

Friday - no spending planned
Planned spending:
Saturday - ~$50 - 60 - lunch
~$10 -- Supper

Change of Plans

February 8th, 2006 at 06:53 pm

Got another call today, half past 8 asking if I'd fill in for a receptionist at a Printing company. I quickly agreed to do it. Between yesterday and today, I now have my gas paid for in March. So, I have rent and gas covered - just that much less to have to take out of savings. Smile

Called my mom to let her know that I won't be coming until tomorrow. She's anxiously waiting to see my new do, but she understood why.

Dad took some pics of my new do with his camera. I tried emailing them to a number of people, but the files wouldn't atatch, so I made a new page on my website, and uploaded them. My New Do

Talked to a Pathways friend tonight. One of them is not going to be able to make it for the Nichole Nordemon concert Friday night, but the one I talked to is, and is wanting to go to church with me. So she'll get to meet my best friend Tammy and family! Yay!

A no spend day today - Dad made me lunch as I was getting ready, as well as breakfast! Sometimes it's nice having an extra person around. Smile

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

Haircut and New Hairstyle

February 7th, 2006 at 06:59 pm

I got a phone call just shortly after 8 this morning from Jan asking if I could do a temp assignment in the same bank I had been at two other days. I of course jumped at the opportunity. Smile I managed to arrive there by 9:35 a.m., which I thought was pretty darn good since I managed to eat some breakfast, dress professionally (although I could not find any hose!) and drive 40 miles!

Since I was not expecting to work today, I didn't have anything ready for lunch, so I did end up eating at Schlotsky's. Smile Not exactly a hardship for me. Smile

After work of course was my hair appointment. I arrived with enough time to fill up on gas, and stop by Taco Bell for supper.

Amazingly when I went in the hair salon lobby, there on a chair was a magazine with a picture of Jennifer Anniston's exact hairstyle I was wanting! When I got in the chair and took out my hair clip, I had a number of people ask me if I was *really* sure about cutting it off.

Amanda (the hairsytlist) put my hair in a ponytail (a requirement for Locks of Love) and cut it off. That was the *weirdest* feeling. What was even weirder though was to have my ponytail in my hand!!

All in all I am happy with my new do, though I think it's going to take a while for me to get used to it. It turned out a bit shorter than I was expecting, but still goes slightly below my shoulders. It also doesn't quite look exactly like JAs style, but I think I do like it.

Now I have to find out where to send my ponytail to. I thought Amanda already had that info, but she told me I would have to send it to them myself. Hope they'll take it!

Spending Log:
Lunch: $4.75
Supper: $1.83
Gas: $20.22 (2.08/gallon)
Haircut (cut, style, highlights, tip) $100 (paid for by my grandma and my dad) Smile

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

Friends; Being Sick

February 6th, 2006 at 11:28 am

I don't know if my body realized "Hey girl, you don't have to go into work in the am, so you can be sick now" or what, but I've been feeling progressively worse the past three days. Just pure exhaustion, stuffed up, nauseua, congestion, coughing, etc. Ugh!

Saturday afternoon I called my former co-worker to let her know I would be in her area next week. I ended up actually talking to her husband for a good hour. He told me that he had at least two job possibilities that he would check into for me. I would dearly love to up in that area again - be near Tammy, my coupon club, and a church where I feel welcomed.

Later that afternoon I drove up to Fort Worth to see a few of my Pathway friends. One of our classmates from CA had flown in for the weekend. It was really good getting together with them - we had six of our class members alltogether + families. We spent a couple hours talking, then went out to eat at a Mexican resturant.

One result that came from our chatting was that the lady who lived in the house we met at told me that there was someone she knows personally who has a garage apartment for an extremely reasonable amount - and that he would probably rent it to me on her word alone. She also gave me the name of a friend of hers who does resume work/career coaching as a ministry.

So, I'm going to be checking into those things today. Then tomorrow I get my haircut, and on Wednesday I'm going to go to Dallas and spend a few days with my mom - as well as put my resume out there. Then of course Friday night I go to the Casting Crowns/Nichole Nordemon concert, and the next day will see Tammy and family, then have another Pathwayian get together. Smile

I got my water bill on Saturday. It was down another couple dollars. I *really* wish I knew how it keeps going down while the electric keeps going up. I haven't noticed us using any less water, and sure haven't been using more electricity!

Spending Log: (Feb 2 - 6)
Cabo's (Mexican): $7.28
Groceries: $4.36

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

Discouraged

February 2nd, 2006 at 06:41 pm

Long story short. I was laid off from my temp job at the trucking company. Found this out as I was heading home from downloading information at the bus station - got a call from Jan.

A didn't even have the decency to tell me to my face. So much for my debating on whether or not I should put my name out there for something else before May.

Apparantally one of their departments is running pretty slow and so they're going to use someone from there to cover what I was doing.

Guess I'm going to have to figure out about unemployment benefits tomorrow. I am glad that I made enough these past two weeks to barely cover March's rent. Am also glad that I didn't look at apartments yesterday.

Am trying to tell myself that maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it happened to leave me open and available for something better. Really am trying to believe that.

I am just so discouraged. Really thought I had until at least May to have to worry about finding another job/assignment.

Ugh!

Edited to add: I just looked up the requirements for unemployment in TX. Since I've been working for an employment agency, I am technically not unemployed for three business days - so I can't file until at least Wednesday.

Not going apartment hunting

February 1st, 2006 at 01:48 pm

I took off work this afternoon for the express purpose of looking for a new apartment. I stayed up past my bedtime last night narrowing down the places I was going to visit to 4. I found my two latest paystubs, and found my lease. I was all ready to go.

Then today at work I got a phone call from an employment agency I had applied to last JULY in Dallas. They had a job possibility for me they wanted me to interview for. When I first spoke to the lady I told her that I had a job until May. She asked me to give her a call a few weeks before this job ended.

Well, I met with my dad after getting off work for lunch. He was talking to my mom on the phone when I got there. I talked to her and ended up telling her about the phone call. She convinced me that I should call them back and at least find out what the job was all about, and that it wouldn't hurt to just put my name in the pot.

Dad and I talked about the job opportunity too. My main qualm was that I feel like I have given my word to the place I am working at right now that I'll be there till May, and also I feel like I would be letting Jan down if I didn't finish this assignment.

Dad made some very good arguments, including the fact that if it was the company losing money, they wouldn't have any qualms about letting me go. That it's the way of business, etc. He also asked me just what I was going to do when it gets to be May and the assignment is over, and there I am in my apartment with a lease that wouldn't be up till August at the earliest.

I finally decided to go ahead and call the place back to find out about the job. It was a temp job - so not anything to get excited about. But what it did do is make me reconsider getting an apartment/signing a new lease before having a permenant job nailed down.

What I have decided to do is to give it another go of putting my resume out there in Dallas and waiting at least another month before looking for an apartment in Fort Worth.

The commute may kill me before my time is up here, but it probably is better than finding an apartment, leasing it, then before the lease is half over finding a perm job in Dallas starting immediately - thereby creating a much longer commute.

I hope I am doing the right thing, because I was SO looking forward to the idea of not having this commute anymore and having a place with a dishwasher!!

Well, I'm off to Walmart for an oil change and some tire rotation/balancing. Hopefully it won't take too long. Smile